English

Our English Curriculum Posters:

English Curriculum Statement

The English Curriculum at West Vale Academy has been designed in accordance with The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and The National Curriculum. From the Early Years, children are encouraged to have a positive attitude towards reading and writing. At West Vale we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts, audiences and purposes. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and who can use discussion to communicate and further their learning.

We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge base in Literacy, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high-quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.

Phonics

At West Vale Academy, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Reception and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.

As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. At West Vale Academy, we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.

Phonics and Reading

At West Vale Academy we use ‘Little Wandle’ as our Systematic Synthetic Phonics programme. This programme is followed with rigor and fidelity by all teachers and teaching assistants. Discrete whole-class phonics lessons are taught to all children, daily in Year’s 1, 2 and Reception. To ensure that learning is embedded, flashcards and reading opportunities continue throughout the day and additional phonics teaching is given to identified children. Phonics remains the main strategy that we use to approach/decode unfamiliar words and spelling across the school. We believe we can teach all children to read.

Children working within the Little Wandle Phases have their reading books selected by the class teachers and teaching assistants to match the sounds that they are currently working on or need to practice. This way the books become a focused tool to support progress.

Individual phonics assessments are completed for all children working within Little Wandle Phases every half term. Teachers then use this information to support pupils in moving forwards. Continuous formative assessment is carried out during lessons and this is used to inform any same day intervention or catch up.

Children who have been identified as ‘working below the required standard’ should have daily intervention until back on track. We continue to use Little Wandle structures and processes for intervention, no additional packages are used.